Date: July 19, 2012
Posted In: DLP Law

            Michelle was absolutely thrilled when Larry presented her with an engagement ring after being together for seven years. Unfortunately, things started to go south as the families began to plan the wedding with constant bickering. It seemed that Larry’s mother was having a hard time giving up control of Larry, who was her only son. Larry’s mother wanted to control all aspects of the wedding much to the chagrin of Michelle’s mother.

             Finally, it reached a point where Larry and Michelle were not getting along and the engagement was broken off. Larry’s mother demanded that Michelle give the engagement ring back.

 ISSUE:          Is Michelle obligated to return the ring?

 ANSWER:     In some states the engagement ring is considered a gift and, regardless of whether the couple was to get married or not, it is not returnable to the groom. Pennsylvania though decrees that the donor, or groom, should always get the ring back if the engagement is broken off regardless of who broke it off or why. In this case, Larry and his mother will get the ring back.

 Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive.  Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column. 



Cal Leventhal
Cal is a graduate of the University of Miami (magna Cum Laude) and attended Loyola and Notre Dame law schools graduating in 1976. He is admitted to the Bars of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and both state and federal trial and appellate courts situated in Pennsylvania.